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Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), sometimes called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or juvenile chronic arthritis, is a childhood disease that causes inflamed, swollen joints that are often stiff and painful. Symptoms common to all forms of JIA include joint pain, a disturbance in the way a child walks (abnormal gait), and joint stiffness that lasts longer than 1 hour in the morning.
The cause of JIA is not well understood. Most experts believe it is caused by a combination of factors, including an overly active immune system.
There are several types of JIA. Each type is based on how many joints are affected during the first 6 months of active disease, whether the child has other symptoms, and which parts of the body are affected.
Several types of JIA can also include serious eye inflammation.
Current as of: June 5, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics & John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
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